A Boomer’s Point-of-View: Separate Bedrooms #DadChat #Marriage #Relationships

Category: A Boomer's Point-of-View, Weekly Columns


The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Back in the day – think “The Mary Tyler Moore” show – couples were portrayed in film and television as having separate beds. At the time, even as a child, I thought that peculiar. Now, my view has changed.

I Love Lucy

We just moved to a new, smaller house. When we began to unpack and put our clothes in the master bedroom closet, we quickly realized there wasn’t enough room for both of us (our clothes). I gallantly offered to put my stuff in the guest bedroom closet.

Soon, I was showering in the guest bathroom as well, since it made more since to be close to my clothes. The inevitability of sleeping there is perhaps next. We’ll see.

Separate beds - couples - marriage

But, what surprises me is that my thinking on this notion has so radically changed. While my wife would HATE me saying this: she snores. I snore, too: probably much worse than she does. She is also somewhat allergic to our sweet dogs – JuJu and Jazzy – whom we let sleep on the bed with us. The comfort the dogs provide is wonderful and my wife survives without too much allergic reaction, but I know she would probably prefer they sleep elsewhere. However, she does love them on the bed, too!

I especially like having the “girls” with me, as I lovingly refer to our dogs, when my wife is out of town. And, that can be a regular occurrence.

Separate bedrooms

So, why not sleep in my own bed and bedroom? After all, my wife also likes to go to sleep to the television, which I STRONGLY believe, should not even be in a bedroom. A bedroom should be for only two things: sleep and…

If I’m in my own bedroom, my wife can watch television to her heart’s content while I don’t have to wait till she’s done to go to sleep. Yes, we could get headphones, so truly this is a hollow horse issue of no honest relevance.

B&W of old movies - separate beds

Admittedly, once and if we take this step, I suspect we’d get very comfortable with living under the same roof in separate bedrooms and doing our own thing. By that, I mean her watching television, me reading and/or playing with the girls, and wearing whatever we want, having windows or shades open or closed, etc. Sharing a bed and bedroom involves compromise. I’d go to bed when I wanted to and we’d get a much larger electric bill as my wife would leave the television on all night since she’d doze off while watching if I wasn’t there.

I am very consciously avoiding the BIG question separate bedrooms raises. However, there’s no law upon sleeping in separate bedrooms that doesn’t allow for “visitation rights,” is there?

  • http://thoughts-of-pink.blogspot.com BarbaraDuke

    We slept in separate rooms for years because we were more comfortable, i.e., waking each other when we moved during the night, Ray snoring, dogs, allergies, etc. Then we decided to buy a king-sized bed and put both of us in the same room again. We bought a king-sized bed, as separate beds. They are electric, adjustable, warm, and they vibrate. So nice. Now Ray can raise the bed up enough to alleviate the snoring, I can rest without waking during the night. Those years apart, we both got used to TV during the night, so that is no bother. As for the dogs, they cannot get on our new beds; they have nice beds on each side of ours. We are both rested and feeling so much better. Then there is a comfort that since they are individual beds, we can still have one moved to the other room, if needed.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @BarbaraDuke:disqus – sounds like an EXCELLENT solution – I just can’t deal with the TV in the bedroom. Our family therapist says it’s SO WRONG to have one and I so fervently agree. I know it’s very common but I believe it can hurt the intimacy and I’m not talking sex. The same therapist said you shouldn’t ever have a serious discussion in bed either – that a more neutral location is so much better – and especially you shouldn’t fight in bed unless it’s a playful one!

  • Terryn Middlebrooks

    I commented on Facebook about this topic.

    This is a new format for me. How do I join dadchat? I’ve been trying to figure this out for weeks… I’m possibly the most technologically challenged 31 year old. Help!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @terrynmiddlebrooks:disqus – email me: [email protected] – or we can speak on the phone (really radical, huh?)…

  • http://thedogladysden.com/ Debbie D. (Doglady)

    Timely subject, Bruce. You’ve illustrated all the good points about having separate bedrooms. During the week, my husband gets up at 4:30 am for work. I generally go to bed between 1 and 3 am. (We both snore too.) Big problem, right? Not since we decided to split up for sleeping purposes! We’re happy with this arrangement and get together on weekends and holidays. As for the unspoken question: No, I don’t believe we have lost any intimacy by doing this.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Sounds like it’s working great for you both @DebbieDoglady:disqus !!!

      • http://thedogladysden.com/ Debbie D. (Doglady)

        We’re happy with it and are getting more rest. 🙂

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          @DebbieDoglady:disqus – I may do the same soon!

  • David Weber

    As always, good news and bad news about the plan. As for sleeping with dogs, ick.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – Love (sleeping) with my girls (dogs)…

  • thundercloud47

    We used to have a rule in our house that no dogs were allowed on our bed. This worked fine for many years. Then one day a miniature longhair dachshund decided that I WOULD be her new owner regardless of the fact she belonged to my neighbor.

    The no dogs on the bed rule went out the window the very first night she stayed with us.

    That was several years ago. Today she has quite wisely decided to sleep elsewhere. I am restless in my sleep. She don’t like the idea of large objects landing on her in the dark.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      My wife, who complained about the dogs in bed saying how allergic she is to them, now has them in “her” bed at least half the time…Ironic! We still really like our separate space…I never thought I would be that person, but I am happily so now!

      • thundercloud47

        You’d have to know my dog before you could understand why we broke our rule. To make a long story short folks tell me we have a spoiled dog.. To them I say ” She has spoiled us far worse than we have spoiled her!”

        I’ve never owned a dog that actually tried to help her people in their daily activities. Her help is limited but she tries. OH… I did not mention in my last post that before all this happened I did not like small dogs especially dachshunds. I’m a dachshund lover now.